WISCONSIN RAPIDS (WAOW) - In front of the largest crowd in franchise history the Wisconsin Rapids Rafters closed out 2010 with a win, beating the Battle Creek Bombers 5-4 Monday night.
As a three run Rafters lead turned into a one run lead in the top of the ninth, the stands at Witter Field rocked with excitement on the strength of more than 2400 willing the Rafters to the win. When Steve Godawa induced the final ground ball out, the fans hit their highest decibel of the night in celebration of a season capping victory.
Jenzen Torres put the Rafters ahead early, launching his fourth home run of the season deep to center in the bottom of the fifth. Originally on the roster with a temporary contract, Torres appreciates how lucky he is to be a part of the Rafters final win in 2010. "This is all absolutely amazing," Torres said in the midst of a throng of fans still clinging to a season freshly ended. "The whole summer has been incredible, if I hadn't been able to stick around, I would have been heartbroken."
The thrill of the crowd came as no shock to starter Matt Baudino the starter in game one at Witter Field this season. "When I threw strike one to start that game, the roar was incredible," Baudino recalled. "But when we got that last out tonight, the crowd definitely matched that first roar." With a no-hitter into the sixth inning Baudino gave the crowd plenty of life as he held the Bombers to just two runs on a pair of infield hits en route to his third win of the season.
After Howie Heinrich and Garrett Branske combined for two scoreless innings, Steve Godawa allowed a two run home run to make it a one run game in the ninth. But the Rafters franchise leader in saves nailed down the final three outs for a Rafters final game win.
With Monday's win the Rafters finish the season at 20-50.
Courtesy: Rafters Press Release